Crane for decom

A crane designed, manufactured, tested and installed by Sheffield engineering specialists SCX Special Projects is to play a key role in the decommissioning of the former Dounreay nuclear plant in northern Scotland


A crane designed, manufactured, tested and installed by Sheffield engineering specialists SCX Special Projects is to play a key role in the decommissioning of the former Dounreay nuclear plant in northern Scotland. SCX Special Projects – part of the SCX Group – is working with Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL), which is managing the decommissioning on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The semi-automated overhead drum crane will be used to lift 500-litre stainless steel drums into a new £22m unit at Dounreay. The drums will be encased in cement, put into long-term storage and monitored remotely over time.

Andy Whitworth, director of SCX Special Projects, said: “In such a safety-critical industry you need to ensure that the equipment is reliable and safe far beyond all limits of its operation. High-level waste demands extreme caution, requiring engineering solutions that exhibit strength, durability, safety and quality. At the top of our list of priorities is that people are protected and can work with confidence in the surrounding environment.”

The new waste storage facility will be an extension to the existing Dounreay Cementation Plant at the site which had three reactors, chemical reprocessing plants and various waste facilities. The latest estimated cost of the site closure plan is £2.3bn and work is scheduled to finish around 2030.